Over the course of this week, we will be posting the shortlist selections for our 8 business book categories: General Business, Leadership, Management, Innovation/Creativity, Small Business/Entrepreneurship, Marketing/Sales, Personal Development, Finance. Then on Monday, December 17th, we'll announce the category winners, and, on Wednesday, December 19th, we'll celebrate the overall winner of the 2012 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards! Stay tuned.
The selections for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship category are:
- The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, Crown Business
- The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business by Ryan Tate, HarperBusiness
- The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen with Charles Wilson, Gotham Books
- Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future by Leonard A. Schlesinger & Charles F. Kiefer with Paul B. Brown, Harvard Business Review Press
- The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross, Portfolio
So you want to start a startup. The first hurdle is often the biggest: starting. Leonard Schlesinger, Charles Kiefer, and Paul Brown provide a guide to surmounting that obstacle via their book, Just Start. It’s not quite as simple as the title makes it sound, but the book provides very practical guidance rooted in concrete research, and it will motivate you to action. There’s sometimes no better motivator than the promise of independence, and Chris Guillebeau knows this well. The $100 Startup is a simple guide for self-starters, and a reminder that breaking away from the typical workforce and gaining career independence is more possible than you think. For those with ideas but also with a need for some nurturing, there is The Launch Pad, Randall Stross' glimpse into the world of Y Combinator, a startup incubator, with enlightening case studies culled from the 2011 summer batch. Where some books are guides to would-be success, Stross’ is a fully-engaging testament to the power of creating an environment for innovation. Sometimes that environment needs to invite a little bit of goofing off, and Ryan Tate would like you to know that there is value in going ‘off task’. Tate’s The 20% Doctrine looks at Google’s now renowned ‘20% time’ and how other individuals and companies have embraced a similar approach to management and productivity. The results are compelling, and Tate makes evident the value of tinkering—both for employees and the companies for which they work. Such success stories are a motivating fuel for entrepreneurs, and Will Allen's story of launching Growing Power, a non-profit community food system, is indeed inspiring as detailed in The Good Food Revolution. Allen tells the story of his startup journey and how it’s impacted him, his community, and the nation's need for making good affordable food accessible for all people while also stimulating urban revitalization.